A large shipping company in east China has signed a $500 million iron ore transport deal with the world’s top iron ore producer Brazilian company Vale.


China is likely to import more iron ore in the coming months, according to a recent announcement by China’s Ministry of Commerce.

The Asian nation is the world’s largest steel producer and consumer with an annual consumption of more than one billion metric tons.

China’s Shandong Shipping Corporation also signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Vale in Qingdao City on Thursday.

Vale will deliver four 400,000-tonne ore vessels to an alliance initiated by Shandong Shipping to operate.

Shandong Shipping has 24 vessels including those under construction with a total of over four million dead weight tonnage.

The Chinese company has already signed a ten year deal with BHP Billiton.

China is one of Vale’s most important clients with an estimated 50 per cent of Vale’s exports heading to the Asian nation.

Vale’s profits soared more than 17-fold to $22.9 billion in 2011 from $1.29 billion in 2001, bolstered by Chinese demand.

The Brazilian company shipped $42 billion worth of raw materials in 2011, 16 per cent of all exports from Brazil.